The Doors are countercultural icons with record sales measured in the tens of millions. They espoused an epicurean approach to life while representing the sharp edge of hippie culture, calling for revolution and the destruction of taboos. Their iconic music and outright charisma has seen them gather devotees from each generation that has followed theirs.
But of course, not everybody likes The Doors. Some people just don’t see the appeal. And some of those that have remained unimpressed have been good enough to share the benefit of their opinion in reasoned and well-argued online reviews over the years.
An anonymous 2004 reviewer uses laser-like wit to shatter any illusions about The Doors’ qualities:
“The Doors? They should be called The Bores”
Ouch! And that’s just the title. Here’s the full review, comprehensively covering every aspect of Waiting For The Sun (note: the capitals are the reviewer’s):
“UGLY UGLY UGLY UGLY
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE UGLIEST MUSIC I EVER HEARD. THE INSTRUMENTS ARE UGLY AND BAD THE VOCALS ARE UGLY AND BAD THE LYRICS ARE UGLY AND BAD EVEN THE COVERS ARE UGLY AND BAD. NOT GOOD, AS IN BAD!!! BETTER BUY GOOD MUSIC!”
Incredibly, in the years since this review was posted, only one person has found it useful. Yet this reviewer is not the only one to describe The Doors as boring. Here’s one from an anonymous US reviewer, who occupies the other end of the capital letter usage spectrum:
“the album pretty much will bore anyone who wasn’t around in the ’60’s (i wasn’t hence why i said that)
i used to be a really big doors fan until i found out this band was just making me into something i wasn’t and that was someone boring!”
WGD also finds The Doors “incredibly boring and predictable”, although, unlike the previous reviewer, he never liked them in the first place:
“I never got the Doors- to me they always sounded like a bad pub band fronted by an unbelievably pretentious narcissist. I’ve met people who firmly believe Morrison was their soulmate despite the fact they were born 20 years after he died- It’s vomit inducing.”
It seems Jim Morrison is a bit of a polarising figure for a lot of reviewers. Here’s the opinion of MB, another stranger to the shift key:
“there has never been a more overrated performer in the history of rock music than jimbo (more like jumbo towards the end) morrison. any rock musician who considers him or herself a poet is not only wrong but a buffoon (outside of dylan and cohen, but just barely) you can be shakespeare with a pen, but without TUNES you dont need to be recording.”
If you can decipher the meaning of that last sentence, I applaud you. AB, meanwhile, has no problem getting his point across:
Jim Morrison was such a weenie and a blowhard…
AB has left several reviews of The Doors, for some reason. Usually with a title like “I really loathe the Doors”, and usually taking pot shots at Jim Morrison, who really seems to rile AB up, despite having been dead since 1971. Here’s another extract:
“I am SO HEARTILY SICK OF JIM MORRISON AND THE DOORS. The guy was such a total weenie. Since when is getting so drunk that you fall of the stage a great moral virtue? And what a preening, self-centered gasbag!”
He’s dead, AB! What more do you want? AB also likens the promise of extra tracks on a Doors re-release to “the dentist offering to pull a few extra teeth… for free!”
Anyway, back to ‘The Lizard King’.
JJ refers to him as “perhaps the most pretentious person ever to have lived”, “an almost talentless lyricist and a very limited vocalist to say the least”. Before inexplicably describing The Doors as “A sort of sixties Duran Duran”. But that’s mild compared to CB’s considered opinion:
“Jim Morrison’ imbecilic drivel belongs scrawled in the margins of a seventh grader’s composition notebook, not on a major studio release. His nameless backing band, likely on loan from the nearest methadone clinic, tries relentlessly and fruitlessly to find a cohesive groove, melody, or theme. Throughout the album you can hear Mr. Morrison’s dunce cap bumping into the vocal microphone as he bends over yet again to pick up the dropped goblet of his drink of choice, which from the sounds of this album is probably Thompson’s Water Seal.”
CB also offers helpful advice to those considering buying part of The Doors’ discography:
“For the same price, you could purchase the New Radicals album that has “You Get What You Give” on it. Now that’s a quality tune from a talented band.”
Keep in mind, CB left his review in 2017 – 18 years after the New Radicals had split up having released one album. I’m not about to criticise them, each to their own and I’m sure they were brilliant, but a sample lyric from the song CB quotes goes like this:
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to your mansions
We’ll kick your ass in
Seemingly CB find this acceptable “on a major studio release”, while Jim Morrison’s lyrics are “imbecilic drivel”. I don’t know. Maybe his endorsement was sarcastic? But, serious or not, at least CB’s offering an alternative. Some folks just want to badmouth a legendary band. Like this anonymous reviewer, who just wants to tell you what not to listen to:
“If you are looking for great music from rock’s beginning, skip this group, because the Doors are all reputation and no follow-through. If Jim Morrison hadn’t been such a head case they would have been forgotten by now.”
…or TT, who said wrote this in 2009:
“If we examine some of the Doors most prominent and unfortunately least appealing features, we will find a very bland, monotonous, predictable, and last but not least, pretentious band. The excessive feature of the organ often sounds like an underpaid Church accompanist finally reaching breakdown and leading a mutiny of one against the house of God.”
…or C79, who said:
“Forget St Anger, Van Halen III or other “infamous” albums. Waiting For The Sun is truly the worst album by a major band!”
…or poor FT who found a lot to criticise in his one-star review of The Doors’ self-titled debut LP but was specifically offended by one track in particular:
“Break on through is a bit too noisy and sure a rock n roll track can be noisy but it needs to have some feeling to it. This track is for me very annoying with its screaming still tired and sad sounding vocals and a high sounding very annoying organ.”
SVV also focuses his one-star review on one song:
“”Runnin Blue” is the worst song they ever recorded, especially the chorus where Kreiger takes a hand at singing and sounds like a nasal Bob Dylan”
A nasal Bob Dylan? Can you imagine such a thing? If that doesn’t make much sense, at least SVV redeems himself in his review of Soft Parade with one of those delicious puns we all love.
“I could sum up this cd in two words: Awful Parade.”
He may have a point with this one, but still, D-minus for effort on the wordplay front, SVV. “Awful Parade” just doesn’t cut it when there’s people coming out with clever stuff like, “The Doors? They should be called The Bores”.
JS meanwhile is against the whole psychedelia thing, while also being something of a snob, judging by the opening words of his one-star review of The Doors – “…this album demonstrates what happens when a public school education meets hallucinogens [sic].” Additionally, he has a grudge against an entire decade:
“The ‘60s were a whacked-out era, and this piece of solid gold crap is a time-machine to the scene of the crime.”
Finally, an anonymous reviewer in 2007 came out with this gem, which is clearly based on their own bitter personal experience:
“Whatever you do…NEVER PLAY THIS AT A PARTY..ALL YOUR FRIENDS WILL THINK YOURE A DORK, AND NEVER RETURN YOUR CALLS!”
Don’t worry about it, Anon, they can’t have been proper friends in the first place. And your mum doesn’t think you’re dork. Probably.